Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy ★★★★

I know that the film's visual style is taken from the comics, but so much of it -- the big clothes, the bold colors, the bizarre prosthetics -- reminds me of what I always call the '80s hangover,' that weird period of Burton-inspired extravagance before the grimness of the 90s really set in. This sits right alongside Cool As Ice, Graffiti Bridge, and, to a much lesser extent, King of New York -- loaded with a sense of style that probably felt like a misfire at the time, but seems like a marvel in retrospect.

This almost feels more like some lost Italian genre film than it does a big-budget American blockbuster in how it places the emphasis squarely on the visuals over the overblown, half-cooked plot. This thing has a huge cast, and I'm still trying to sort out who exactly played who and why they were even in this. I didn't even realize Dustin Hoffman was in this until his second or third scene.

Much like a Graffiti Bridge, parts of this almost feel like a longform music video, with the actual story only serving as linking points between the flashy music montages and performances. Think of it more like a series of comic strips than a longform graphic novel. I think a lot of people hate that sort of thing, but I kinda love it.

Would love to see this on 70mm.

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